To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

An open and inclusive investigation into Buddhism and spiritual cultivation

To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Yes
29
67%
No
12
28%
Not Sure
2
5%
 
Total votes : 43

Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:11 am

Tex wrote:I suppose one could call oneself a "student of physics" while not believing in gravity, but I don't know how much progress s/he would make.

You're hitting a nerve here...
We don't have so much trouble with arguments over gravity (at least not Newtonian gravity), but some of the arguments I see about Buddhism remind me of the sort of arguments Physicists get from people who think they have found some fundamental mistake in Relativity that everyone else who has looked at it in the last 100 years has overlooked... :thinking:

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:15 am

Tex wrote:I suppose one could call oneself a "student of physics" while not believing in gravity, but I don't know how much progress s/he would make.

If you take gravity out of the study of physics a lot of the rest of physics falls apart.

It is the same with kamma and rebirth with regards to Buddhism, as far as I can see. Pull out a few bricks you don't like and the whole wall falls apart.

Regarding taking refuge in the Dhamma -- I don't know how one could truly take refuge in something that one believed incomplete or erroneous in certain places. I'm not trying to be judgmental, and as Cooran noted it's surely okay to be agnostic on some things and put them aside for the moment -- but I can't imagine really, truly taking refuge in any set of teachings if one rejects some of those teachings. What would be the point? It might be a bit like calling myself a Christian because I like a lot of the brotherly love teachings but I don't quite believe in the whole virgin birth and resurrection crap.


Hi Tex,

Not everyone places saddha on the same aspects of the Dharma. While some may have an innocent, devote, taught, or intellectual faith that inponderables such as literal rebirth are actual fact, other's faith in the Dharma may arise, for example, from what practice reveals.

I've noticed that many of those who innocently accept all the unknowns of the whole pie often seem to see anything _other_ than their own willing acceptance, as "rejection". All or none, it seems for some. There's a vast area between innocent, devote, taught, or intellectual acceptance, and "rejection". Some Dharma practitioners explore that fertile uncertainty between the poles. Some find that uncertainty more worthy of faith than the professed certainty of innocent, devotional, taught, or intellectually-determined acceptance.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby Tex » Fri Mar 27, 2009 4:59 am

pink_trike wrote:I've noticed that many of those who innocently accept all the unknowns of the whole pie often seem to see anything _other_ than their own willing acceptance, as "rejection". All or none, it seems for some. There's a vast area between innocent, devote, taught, or intellectual acceptance, and "rejection".


Hmmm. What "unknowns" would you suggest that I'm "innocently accepting"?
"The serene and peaceful mind is the true epitome of human achievement."-- Ajahn Chah, Living Dhamma

"To reach beyond fear and danger we must sharpen and widen our vision. We have to pierce through the deceptions that lull us into a comfortable complacency, to take a straight look down into the depths of our existence, without turning away uneasily or running after distractions." -- Bhikkhu Bodhi
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 5:29 am

I was speaking of a more general "many of those who" ...not about you. Sorry :geek: writing isn't my native language...

To answer your question...

When I say "unknowns" I'm referring to concepts that are unknowable to us with our minds conditoned as they are. When I say "us" I'm referring to ordinary people, not those with vision attainments. Ordinary people don't have the clarity to know their own literal rebirths, or to know if such a phenomenon is doubtless with certainty. In the absence of the wisdom necessary to see with that clarity, faith can only masquerade as "knowing" - whether that faith be innocent, devotional, taught, or intellectualized. imo
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby Ben » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:35 am

Hi Pink

I think there is something qualitatively different to the Dhammic concept of saddha than the concept that we have inherited through our judeo-christian cultures as 'faith'. In fact, I think it is a totally different beast. Within the Dhamma, one is encouraged to 'know for oneself', and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice. So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom. Ledi Sayadaw wrote in the back pages of Uttamapurisa Dipani (A manual of the excellent man) on How to Practice the Three Refuges and describes the two different types of refuges characterised by blind faith or direct knowledge.
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:29 am

Ben wrote:Hi Pink

I think there is something qualitatively different to the Dhammic concept of saddha than the concept that we have inherited through our judeo-christian cultures as 'faith'. In fact, I think it is a totally different beast. Within the Dhamma, one is encouraged to 'know for oneself', and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice. So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom. Ledi Sayadaw wrote in the back pages of Uttamapurisa Dipani (A manual of the excellent man) on How to Practice the Three Refuges and describes the two different types of refuges characterised by blind faith or direct knowledge.
Kind regards
Ben wrote:Hi Pink

I think there is something qualitatively different to the Dhammic concept of saddha than the concept that we have inherited through our judeo-christian cultures as 'faith'. In fact, I think it is a totally different beast. Within the Dhamma, one is encouraged to 'know for oneself', and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice. So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom.
Ben

Ben


Hi Ben,

and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice.


Its my understand that in Buddhism, faith/belief is described as the foundation that gives rise to and inspires practice. Faith, then practice, then wisdom.

Maybe I'm just backwards boy, but for me practice gives rise to and inspires cautious, uncertain, experiential, incremental faith/belief as it comes. Practice, then knowing, then faith.

So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom.


Consistent with my above stated understanding, this would necessarily be a facsimile of wisdom, which seems to me to be faith from another angle - not recognition that has arisen out of practice.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:11 am

pink_trike wrote:
Ben wrote:Hi Pink

I think there is something qualitatively different to the Dhammic concept of saddha than the concept that we have inherited through our judeo-christian cultures as 'faith'. In fact, I think it is a totally different beast. Within the Dhamma, one is encouraged to 'know for oneself', and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice. So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom. Ledi Sayadaw wrote in the back pages of Uttamapurisa Dipani (A manual of the excellent man) on How to Practice the Three Refuges and describes the two different types of refuges characterised by blind faith or direct knowledge.
Kind regards
Ben wrote:Hi Pink

I think there is something qualitatively different to the Dhammic concept of saddha than the concept that we have inherited through our judeo-christian cultures as 'faith'. In fact, I think it is a totally different beast. Within the Dhamma, one is encouraged to 'know for oneself', and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice. So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom.
Ben

Ben


Hi Ben,

and the saddha that develops, develops as a result of insight and knowledge, however miniscule and mundane, manifesting as a result of engaging with practice.


Its my understand that in Buddhism, faith/belief is described as the foundation that gives rise to and inspires practice. Faith, then practice, then wisdom.

Maybe I'm just backwards boy, but for me practice gives rise to and inspires cautious, uncertain, experiential, incremental faith/belief as it comes. Practice, then knowing, then faith.

So when we take refuge, we take refuge with an element of faith that has as its base, wisdom.


Consistent with my above stated understanding, this would necessarily be a facsimile of wisdom, which seems to me to be faith from another angle - not recognition that has arisen out of practice.


Hi Pink,

Saddha as a virtue of a layman in the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism is more like "confidence that arises from observation and increases with insight." There is a wonderful analogy in the suttas (I cannot locate it at the moment) in which a man standing at a river is unsure as to whether he can jump across it. Then he sees another man jump across the river and realizes that he can do it as well. That, we are told, is saddha. (Bhikkhu Bodhi mentions this analogy in In the Buddha's Words, but I can't even find it there through the index.) Similarly, in the Vimamsaka Sutta (MN 47), the Buddha tells the monks to investigate the Buddha himself to see if he has truly eradicated the defilements within his mind. They are to look and listen to determine whether he whether he displays any defiled states, is "restrained without fear," truly free of desire or attachment, one who "does not despise anyone." They are not asked to place blind faith in him. (If you can determine that your teacher has attained the goal--freedom from attachment, aversion, & delusion--through observing him/ her, you gain confidence in the teacher and in your own ability to attain the goal. He crossed to the far shore, so you can do so as well.) Later the same sutta says that "through direct knowledge [a realization after "successively higher levels" of Dhamma] of a certain teaching here in that Dhamma, the monk... places confidence in the Teacher..." This is saddha that is rendered "invincible" we are told. Blind faith has no place in Theravada Buddhism. One gains confidence in the Buddha, the Dhamma, the Sangha and one's own potential through observation and through attainment.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:38 am

Greetings


Wanted to add something in reguards to Saddha. I feel its something overlooked and only the empirical side of Buddhism is stressed the the modern times.

Saddha is very important since its that which gets you started on the path. Saddha or Trust (or faith) that these teachings are true (since we dont know them with insight at begining) Saddha that the Buddha knows what he is talking about. Saddha that the practice set forth leads somewhere. Saddha that these things can be realized and known.

Even if when one first reads the four noble truths and thinks "ah that makes perfect sense" there is still Saddha there that they are true since one doesnt know for oneself (yet)

As i said i think in our times people get caught up in the empirical side of Buddhism (if i cant verify it then i shouldnt believe it) thinking that Saddha is a small thing (if needed at all) even though it is embedded in most of the practice (however subtly)


Saddha sets one off and also supports along the way until Saddha is turned into truth via insight


Thats my take anyway


Metta

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby Rui Sousa » Fri Mar 27, 2009 6:39 pm

As the Buddha said on the SN 48.44: Pubbakotthaka Sutta

Those who have not known, seen, penetrated, realized, or attained it by means of discernment would have to take it on conviction in others that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation; whereas those who have known, seen, penetrated, realized, & attained it by means of discernment would have no doubt or uncertainty that the faculty of conviction... persistence... mindfulness... concentration... discernment, when developed & pursued, gains a footing in the Deathless, has the Deathless as its goal & consummation.


And on the SN 50.1:

There are these five strengths. Which five? Strength of conviction, strength of persistence, strength of mindfulness, strength of concentration, & strength of discernment. These are the five strengths.

Just as the River Ganges flows to the east, slopes to the east, inclines to the east, in the same way when a monk develops & pursues the five strengths, he flows to Unbinding, slopes to Unbinding, inclines to Unbinding.


Confidence on the Triple Gem as a factor for stream entry on SN 55.1 Raja Sutta:

"And even though a disciple of the noble ones lives off lumps of alms food and wears rag-robes, still — because he is endowed with four qualities — he is freed from hell, freed from the animal womb, freed from the realm of hungry shades, freed from the plane of deprivation, the bad destinations, the lower realms.

"And what are the four? There is the case where the disciple of the noble ones is endowed with verified confidence in the Awakened One: 'Indeed, the Blessed One is worthy and rightly self-awakened, consummate in knowledge & conduct, well-gone, an expert with regard to the world, unexcelled as a trainer for those people fit to be tamed, the Teacher of divine & human beings, awakened, blessed.'

"He/she is endowed with verified confidence in the Dhamma: 'The Dhamma is well-expounded by the Blessed One, to be seen here & now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.'

"He/she is endowed with verified confidence in the Sangha: 'The Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples who have practiced well...who have practiced straight-forwardly...who have practiced methodically...who have practiced masterfully — in other words, the four types of noble disciples when taken as pairs, the eight when taken as individual types1 — they are the Sangha of the Blessed One's disciples: worthy of gifts, worthy of hospitality, worthy of offerings, worthy of respect, the incomparable field of merit for the world.'

"He/she is endowed with virtues that are appealing to the noble ones: untorn, unbroken, unspotted, unsplattered, liberating, praised by the wise, untarnished, leading to concentration.


Not understanding Kamma and rebirth as wrong view MN 117 Maha-cattarisaka Sukka:

"And how is right view the forerunner? One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view. And what is wrong view? 'There is nothing given, nothing offered, nothing sacrificed. There is no fruit or result of good or bad actions. There is no this world, no next world, no mother, no father, no spontaneously reborn beings; no priests or contemplatives who, faring rightly & practicing rightly, proclaim this world & the next after having directly known & realized it for themselves.' This is wrong view...


So I would say that to follow the eightfold path and attain its fruits, one must have confidence in the triple gem. More, only by understanding kamma and rebirth will Right View be fully developed. So calling myself a Buddhist implies, to me, that I trust the Buddha, the Dhamma, and the Sangha. Implying that I accept kamma and rebirth as truths to be discerned by this mind.
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 7:24 pm

clw_uk wrote:Greetings


Wanted to add something in reguards to Saddha. I feel its something overlooked and only the empirical side of Buddhism is stressed the the modern times.

Saddha is very important since its that which gets you started on the path. Saddha or Trust (or faith) that these teachings are true (since we dont know them with insight at begining) Saddha that the Buddha knows what he is talking about. Saddha that the practice set forth leads somewhere. Saddha that these things can be realized and known.

Even if when one first reads the four noble truths and thinks "ah that makes perfect sense" there is still Saddha there that they are true since one doesnt know for oneself (yet)

As i said i think in our times people get caught up in the empirical side of Buddhism (if i cant verify it then i shouldnt believe it) thinking that Saddha is a small thing (if needed at all) even though it is embedded in most of the practice (however subtly)


Saddha sets one off and also supports along the way until Saddha is turned into truth via insight


Thats my take anyway


Metta

:anjali:


Yes, this is exactly what we're taught. But it wasn't faith, trust, or confidence that led me to practice...it was "let's see what this does", and it is the results of practice, not abstractions of faith that keeps me practicing. Even faith in experience is a fool's game. Having faith in complex, abstract concepts for which there isn't even consistency of detail among teachers or traditions - before investing effort and experiencing results seems to me to be the mental act of stepping into a closed circle, and seems to be the ultimate in blind acceptance. In more than one place in the Suttas words to the effect of "don't have faith in me...try it, analyze it, study it" are attributed to the Buddha as instructions for lay followers, which I believe requires more of us than downloading a predigested template of faith and wearing it as a life jacket. Faith is an alluring sugar-coated place, but as I mentioned before, uncertainty has its benefits also. Imo, placing faith before experience or clarity is the difference between "religion" and investigative practice. I practice the Dharma and have no need to manufacture blanket religiosity to keep me practicing.

If manufacturing a facsimile of wisdom in the form of conviction prior to practice is useful to some to start/continue practice, then maybe that's good skillful means. But when that faith is placed in far-reaching abstractions that can't be experienced in this life, and the only verification is that generation after generation has been taught this faith-before-experience way of encountering the Dharma - then in the West some folks are going to skip the faith aspect and get down to practice. Either it works or it doesn't...I don't need to convince myself in advance, and I'm not taking any one's word for it. In the example of rebirth, its none of my business - it will happen or not, completely independent of any manufactured or imported view I may or may not hold about it. I don't know - which shouldn't be confused with "doubt". "I don't know" is an open window, "faith" is a closed window. Religious folks like to keep the windows closed. I leave em open. :anjali:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby kc2dpt » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:47 pm

pink_trike wrote:In more than one place in the Suttas words to the effect of "don't have faith in me...try it, analyze it, study it" are attributed to the Buddha as instructions for lay followers

Care to provide more than one reference?

In the example of rebirth, its none of my business - it will happen or not, completely independent of any manufactured or imported view I may or may not hold about it. I don't know - which shouldn't be confused with "doubt". "I don't know" is an open window, "faith" is a closed window. Religious folks like to keep the windows closed. I leave em open. :anjali:

Sorry but this misses the point. Whether you know or don't know you still have a view. Some decisions you make in the course of your practice are going to depend on this view, namely whether you believe you will experience birth after you die or not. Most likely you're "I don't know" results in you making decisions based solely on the here and now, which is the equivalent of holding the view of no birth after death.

It not so much about what you believe, but rather what view you base your decisions on.
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:56 pm

mikenz66 wrote:
Tex wrote:I suppose one could call oneself a "student of physics" while not believing in gravity, but I don't know how much progress s/he would make.

...the sort of arguments Physicists get from people who think they have found some fundamental mistake in Relativity that everyone else who has looked at it in the last 100 years has overlooked... :thinking:


Maybe this is because the history of scientific thought with all the paradigm blindness and misplaced certainty is now widely known, not to mention the amazing convergence of information that's been taking place over the last decade in the scientific world as a result of the IT revolution that is turning scientific dogma on it's head in all fields. The mantel of authority has worn thin. ;)

Hardly a decade has gone by since the mid 1800s without some noted scientist announcing that "we now know everything there is to know about _______(fill in the blank). :cookoo: You'd think they'd learn...or at least hire a PR adviser. :)
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby thecap » Fri Mar 27, 2009 9:58 pm

Peter wrote:Most likely you're "I don't know" results in you making decisions based solely on the here and now, which is the equivalent of holding the view of no birth after death.


Hello Peter. I have a question. Does that mean, if I don't know whether there is rebirth in the traditional sense, then that's the equivalent of hodling the view that no one else will be born after my body dies?
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:03 pm

Peter wrote:
pink_trike wrote:In more than one place in the Suttas words to the effect of "don't have faith in me...try it, analyze it, study it" are attributed to the Buddha as instructions for lay followers

Care to provide more than one reference?

In the example of rebirth, its none of my business - it will happen or not, completely independent of any manufactured or imported view I may or may not hold about it. I don't know - which shouldn't be confused with "doubt". "I don't know" is an open window, "faith" is a closed window. Religious folks like to keep the windows closed. I leave em open. :anjali:

Sorry but this misses the point. Whether you know or don't know you still have a view. Some decisions you make in the course of your practice are going to depend on this view, namely whether you believe you will experience birth after you die or not. Most likely you're "I don't know" results in you making decisions based solely on the here and now, which is the equivalent of holding the view of no birth after death.

It not so much about what you believe, but rather what view you base your decisions on.


You known the usual source. I'll see if I can hunt up the sutta I was reading the other day that specifically stated how the Dharma is to be approached. Short name, starts with J. Not good with sutta names...

What part of "I don't know"do you not understand? :) In my world, "I don't know" isn't a belief (view). That's an interesting assumption you have about "I don't know"...that it really means rejection. And about me, that I can so easily dupe myself. :jumping:
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:03 pm

Greetings


Just wanted to make an observation

On the Zen forum (where i got the idea for this topic) their votes are 50/50 but here there is a majority in favour of accepting

This seems to signifie a slight difference across the schools in term of doctrine (and practice?)


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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:04 pm

Greetings


"I don't know" isn't a belief (view



Maybe so but it will have some effect
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:10 pm

clw_uk wrote:Greetings
"I don't know" isn't a belief (view

Maybe so but it will have some effect

Yes, it has the effect of being open to possibility while not clouded by beliefs.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby pink_trike » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:00 pm

Peter wrote:
pink_trike wrote:In more than one place in the Suttas words to the effect of "don't have faith in me...try it, analyze it, study it" are attributed to the Buddha as instructions for lay followers

Care to provide more than one reference?


Source: the wikipedia god.

In the Jivaka Sutta...The Buddha, when asked how one practices being a lay follower "both for his own benefit & the benefit of others," the Buddha states that one is consummate oneself in and encourages others in the consummation of: conviction (saddhā); virtue (sīla); generosity (cāga); visiting monks; and, hearing, remembering, analyzing, understanding and practicing the Dhamma.[13]

Sutta 44(iv, 220), Buddha questions Sariputta to which Sariputta answers, "Herein, O Lord, I do not follow the Exalted One out of faith. Those by whom this is unknown, unseen, uncognized, unrealized and unexperienced by wisdom, they will herein follow others out of faith."

Those who religiously accept the Buddha as the final Supreme authority, and who regard a literal reading of the words attributed to him are doing so on faith, and faith alone. I never met the man so I don't know. I've studied the meta processes of oral tradition and early writing, and remain convinced that those who passed along the oral teachings, and at some still unknown date later began to write them down, followed ancient standards for the transmission of knowledge that are only now becoming clear to us. Religious Buddhists don't have much interest in the "style guides" that were used widely at that time, preferring a more literal reading. Until these style guides are better understood in the context of the written preservation of Buddhist oral tradition (some of which predate Buddhism itself), I'm sticking with "I don't know", practice, and the guidance of teachers regarding my practice. Also, in light of scholarly confirmation that there have been many additions and revisions to the suttas at various times/places, and the number of theravadan divisions that died out or were politically squeezed out of existence...I'll stick to practice.

We live in the age of "I don't know"...a time when all concrete assumptions are crumbling in all fields of human inquiry and belief - a prediction that can be traced back to words attributed to the Buddha. Uncertainty is the zeitgeist of the times - so that's what we have to work with.
Last edited by pink_trike on Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:21 pm

Sutta 44(iv, 220), Buddha questions Sariputta to which Sariputta answers, "Herein, O Lord, I do not follow the Exalted One out of faith. Those by whom this is unknown, unseen, uncognized, unrealized and unexperienced by wisdom, they will herein follow others out of faith."



Sariputta didnt follow out of faith because when he was asked he already had seen and understood the teachings through practice, others who havent reached that level will practice acording to faith acording to that sutta


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“Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.” Ovid
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Re: To be Buddhist you must accept kamma and rebirth?

Postby sukhamanveti » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:57 pm

pink_trike wrote:
Peter wrote:
pink_trike wrote:In more than one place in the Suttas words to the effect of "don't have faith in me...try it, analyze it, study it" are attributed to the Buddha as instructions for lay followers

Care to provide more than one reference?


Source: the wikipedia god.

In the Jivaka Sutta...The Buddha, when asked how one practices being a lay follower "both for his own benefit & the benefit of others," the Buddha states that one is consummate oneself in and encourages others in the consummation of: conviction (saddhā); virtue (sīla); generosity (cāga); visiting monks; and, hearing, remembering, analyzing, understanding and practicing the Dhamma.[13]

Sutta 44(iv, 220), Buddha questions Sariputta to which Sariputta answers, "Herein, O Lord, I do not follow the Exalted One out of faith. Those by whom this is unknown, unseen, uncognized, unrealized and unexperienced by wisdom, they will herein follow others out of faith."

Those who religiously accept the Buddha as the final Supreme authority, and who regard a literal reading of the words attributed to him are doing so on faith, and faith alone. I never met the man so I don't know. I've studied the meta processes of oral tradition and early writing, and remain convinced that those who passed along the oral teachings, and at some still unknown date later began to write them down, followed ancient standards for the transmission of knowledge that are only now becoming clear to us. Religious Buddhists don't have much interest in the "style guides" that were used widely at that time, preferring a more literal reading. Until these style guides are better understood in the context of the written preservation of Buddhist oral tradition (some of which predate Buddhism itself), I'm sticking with "I don't know", practice, and the guidance of teachers regarding my practice. Also, in light of scholarly confirmation that there have been many additions and revisions to the suttas at various times/places, and the number of theravadan divisions that died out or were politically squeezed out of existence...I'll stick to practice.

We live in the age of "I don't know"...a time when all concrete assumptions are crumbling in all fields of human inquiry and belief - a prediction that can be traced back to words attributed to the Buddha. Uncertainty is the zeitgeist of the times - so that's what we work with.


I think that you might not be allowing for the possibility of more than one kind of "faith" among those who revere the Buddha, even a type of sophisticated "faith" that may have some rational grounds for it.

I think that most Theravadins do not have this sort of faith: A man knocks on Mr. A's door, offers him some pamphlets and says, "My religious text says this. My religious text says that. Just believe." Mr. A says, "OK. I believe." That is blind faith.

Instead they might have this sort of faith: They practice under the guidance of a teacher who consistently demonstrates that he is an expert in meditation and awakening and that he has profound insights into the nature of reality, the person, etc. We tend to afford experts whose experiments have been successfully replicated by other experts a measure of trust. We need not pretend to have absolute certainty to do this. Most knowledge is uncertain and a matter of probability anyway.

There are other possibilities as well...


As for doubts about the authenticity of the teachings of the Pali Canon, there are rational grounds for recognizing that the principal teachings of the Nikayas (4 Noble Truths, Eightfold Path, 3 Marks of Existence, etc.) probably go back to the Buddha. For example: (1) These teachings are found in what remains of the scriptural collections of the other early Indian schools, suggesting that the teachings are presectarian. (We can compare the Nikaya discourses with corresponding texts of the Sarvastivadins, Dharmaguptakas, Kasyapiyas, and Mahasanghikas. Several scholars have done so and gained increased confidence in the Pali Canon. Differences between the schools were largely a matter of interpretation.). (2) The teachings are highly coherent, suggesting that they are the product of one mind, rather than a patchwork evolving from the contributions of many.
Sīlaṃ balaṃ appaṭimaṃ.
Sīlaṃ āvudhamuttamaṃ.
Sīlamābharaṇaṃ seṭṭhaṃ.
Sīlaṃ kavacamabbhutaṃ.


Virtue is a matchless power.
Virtue is the greatest weapon.
Virtue is the best adornment.
Virtue is a wonderful armor.

Theragatha 614


Sabbapāpassa akaraṇaṃ,
kusalassa upasampadā,
Sacittapariyodapanaṃ,
etaṃ buddhāna sāsanaṃ.


Refraining from all wrong-doing,
Undertaking the good,
Purifying the mind,
This is the teaching of the buddhas.

Dhammapada v. 183/14.5
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